Sometimes, when I’ve tried 10 times to re-word a sentence in a resume, or I sit down with a customer who has a less-than-ideal work history, the opening lines from the famous Beatles’ song come to mind:
“Help, I need somebody
Help, not just anybody
Help, you know I need someone
In the course of writing a resume or speaking with customers, we might encounter any number of problems that can cause great difficulty. In order to provide the best and most effective resume advice to customers, as well as produce great results, we should seek help from all available resources. These can come in the form of people, books, websites…anything that gives us advice and helps us to break the resume stalemate.
I store my resources in my “tool box,” and I can fix most resume problems by reaching in and pulling out something I can use.
Here’s a sneak peek for when you need some help and inspiration:
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White This resource lays the foundation for professional writing. Admittedly, not every page can be applied to resume writing, but it useful to ensure the writing in the resume is professional. This is not an exciting read, but it guides any writing and editing so the end result is as polished as possible.
Knock ‘em Dead: Secrets and Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World by Martin Yate Mr. Yate’s Knock ‘em Dead series of books cover topics like resume writing, interviewing and cover letter composition. The book I use is a condensed version in which he discusses different aspects of the job search. The one topic I revisit frequently provides detail on utilizing the job description to build a resume to match what the employer is looking for.
Dictionary/Thesaurus With the advance of technology, it is nearly impossible to misspell a word when typing a resume on the computer. The new value of these resources are that they help us vary our word choice to avoid clichés and repetitive phrases. We should always make sure we are using words correctly! I like to use a physical copy of a dictionary and thesaurus, but there are online versions that work just as well.
O*NET Online The O*NET program is the nation's primary source of occupational information. It contains hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors. After holding a job for years, customers can still be at a loss for words when it comes to describing their job responsibilities. O*NET can stimulate their thinking to write a resume that gives employers a better picture of their professional experience and value. The website also has a set of valuable assessments for customers looking to find or change careers.
Carrealism.com This website has a lot of valuable career development, job search and interview advice content. It keeps me up to date on resume trends and provides me with new ideas for writing resumes.
Of course, there are thousands of other resources available for us to turn to. I use these because they have helped me tackle some challenging resumes, so I trust their advice. I’m constantly on the lookout for new resources. If you have a favorite you use, I’d love for you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.